Review of Turkish Airlines flight Istanbul Vienna in Economy

Airline Turkish Airlines
Flight TK1883
Class Economy
Seat 19A
Aircraft Airbus A321neo
Flight time 02:20
Take-off 25 Apr 21, 07:50
Arrival at 25 Apr 21, 09:10
TK   #20 out of 66 Airlines A minimum of 10 flight-reports within the past two years is required to appear in the rankings. 646 reviews
NewYorker
By GOLD 1030
Published on 22nd May 2021

introduction


A very warm welcome back to my current series, ladies and gentlemen. In this leg of the journey, I'll be flying Turkish Airlines' new Airbus A321neo on a flight from Istanbul to Vienna. As I mentioned in the previous installment of the series, I had really wanted to fly Turkish Airlines since my only previous trip with them back in 2013. For this journey, a good opportunity arose, and to celebrate me getting my first dose of the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine, my dad and I decided to fly home to Austria with a stop in Istanbul. In addition, this would be my very first flight on an A321neo, so I was also very much looking forward to that!


trip information


I originally booked a basic VIE-SOF-VIE roundtrip for 16,000 United Miles. Upon booking, my routing looked like this:


OS799 | Vienna - Sofia | Embraer 195
OS798 | Sofia - Vienna | Airbus A319


However, for no extra cost, I was able to change my journey to have the following routing:



photo bildschirmfoto-2021-04-29-um-173640

The final leg of the flight was booked separately as a revenue fare.


turkish airlines miles&smiles lounge istanbul


At around 6 AM, my dad and I left the Yotel and headed back to the Miles&Smiles Lounge in hopes of having breakfast, as I wasn't sure if there would be any food served onboard given the lack of service on the previous flight.


photo bildschirmfoto-2021-05-05-um-093632photo bildschirmfoto-2021-05-05-um-093647

I didn't take any photos of the lounge this time, as it was more crowded than it was the previous night. Check out the bonus section of my previous report to see photos of the lounge itself!


The buffet section consisted of exactly the same selection as the night before…


photo bildschirmfoto-2021-05-05-um-093814

…except this morning there were also paninis. Both types were with tomato and cheese. I tried one of each, and they were both delicious.


photo bildschirmfoto-2021-05-05-um-093843

Boarding was scheduled to begin at 06:50, so we left the lounge around 20 minutes before that.


photo bildschirmfoto-2021-05-05-um-093915

istanbul airport (ist)


We took our time heading to the gate, as it was nice to take in the sights of a major airport again. My dad had still been travelling quite a bit during the pandemic and had actually connected through IST a month earlier, but for me it was a treat and a delight to experience the feeling of such a massive airport again!


photo bildschirmfoto-2021-05-05-um-093946photo bildschirmfoto-2021-05-05-um-094009photo bildschirmfoto-2021-05-05-um-094029

My flight to Vienna was departing from gate B9B, towards the end of the northwestern-most pier at Istanbul Airport.


photo bildschirmfoto-2021-05-05-um-094059photo bildschirmfoto-2021-05-05-um-094119photo bildschirmfoto-2021-05-05-um-094130

The 06:50 boarding time was meant to encourage all passengers to get to the gate, so that the gate agents could conduct a check that all passengers were eligible to enter Austria.


photo bildschirmfoto-2021-05-05-um-094209-48411

boarding + initial impressions


Boarding began around 07:15, and to my surprise was a bit of a mess. There was no priority boarding, and all passengers queued up and boarded at once.


photo bildschirmfoto-2021-05-05-um-094231

At the gate next to us, another Turkish A321neo.


photo bildschirmfoto-2021-05-05-um-094255

Down the jetbridge. It's a shame that they didn't opt for glass jetbridges at such a new airport 😢


photo bildschirmfoto-2021-05-05-um-094312

There were no views of our aircraft (apart from the sharklet) from the gate area, so the only photo I have of the aircraft is a fuselage shot. Flying me back to Austria was TC-LSK, a 1.5-year-old Airbus A321neo built and delivered to Turkish Airlines in October 2019. Can we also take a moment to appreciate the beauty of that PW Engine?? 😍


photo bildschirmfoto-2021-05-05-um-094335

I was handed my hygiene kit in the jetbridge and greeted by a friendly purser before passing through a spiffy-looking Business Class cabin.


photo bildschirmfoto-2021-05-05-um-113842photo bildschirmfoto-2021-05-05-um-113856

The Economy Class cabin also wasn't half bad.


photo bildschirmfoto-2021-05-05-um-114002

At my seat 19A.


photo bildschirmfoto-2021-05-05-um-114015

The legroom wasn't quite as good as the 737 I was on the night before, but was still pretty good.


photo bildschirmfoto-2021-05-05-um-114040

In the seatback pocket were an airsickness bag…


photo bildschirmfoto-2021-05-05-um-114100

…as well as the safety instruction card.


photo bildschirmfoto-2021-05-05-um-114108

I liked the fact that the seatback has two smaller pockets as well. I stored my phone in there for the duration of the flight.


photo bildschirmfoto-2021-05-05-um-114132

Coat hook.


photo bildschirmfoto-2021-05-05-um-114220

The PTV was crisp, clear, and a bit bigger than the one on the 737.


photo bildschirmfoto-2021-05-05-um-114144photo bildschirmfoto-2021-05-05-um-114153

It also used a different software, which was a bit more intuitive and responsive.


photo bildschirmfoto-2021-05-05-um-114242

The selection included many TV shows, a whole section about Turkish Airlines…


photo bildschirmfoto-2021-05-05-um-114348

…and 427 movies! Quite possibly the most expansive entertainment system in the skies.


photo bildschirmfoto-2021-05-05-um-114318

The map section featured a lot of stats to make any AvGeek happy! 😆


photo bildschirmfoto-2021-05-05-um-114407photo bildschirmfoto-2021-05-05-um-114419

From what I saw, the only charger was the USB port on the PTV. It's possible that there was a universal power plug under the seat, but I forgot to look for it.


photo bildschirmfoto-2021-05-05-um-114759

Adjustable headrest.


photo bildschirmfoto-2021-05-05-um-114452photo bildschirmfoto-2021-05-05-um-114500

Nice wing view from my seat.


photo bildschirmfoto-2021-05-05-um-114433

turkish airlines 1883 - istanbul to vienna


I'd estimate that the load factor in the back was close to 95%, which was a welcome sight. Once everyone was onboard, the captain welcomed us onboard and announced a flight time of 2 hours to Vienna.


Despite the full flight, my middle seat remained open, and I put my bag under 18B, which gave me a bit more space.


photo bildschirmfoto-2021-05-05-um-114747

As we began to pushback, the safety video screened.


photo bildschirmfoto-2021-05-05-um-114603photo bildschirmfoto-2021-05-05-um-114914photo bildschirmfoto-2021-05-05-um-114711

Of course, the aircraft featured new, pristine PSUs.


photo bildschirmfoto-2021-05-05-um-114626

The engine startup reminded me a bit of a GE90 or GEnx startup. I'm looking forward to experiencing a widebody (a 787-9 to be precise) startup again in July! 😉


photo bildschirmfoto-2021-05-05-um-114842

Flaps 2, beginning our taxi to Runway 35L.


photo bildschirmfoto-2021-05-05-um-114943photo bildschirmfoto-2021-05-05-um-114953

One last look at the Istanbul Airport terminal. I'm looking forward to being back in July!


photo bildschirmfoto-2021-05-05-um-115012

The windsock was blowing quite a bit. If I recall correctly, the winds were at 17 knots that morning.


photo bildschirmfoto-2021-05-05-um-115033

departure from istanbul


Lining up.


photo bildschirmfoto-2021-05-05-um-115101

Rolling.


photo bildschirmfoto-2021-05-05-um-115112

Rotate!


photo bildschirmfoto-2021-05-05-um-115125

Passing the gorgeous IST Tower.


photo bildschirmfoto-2021-05-05-um-115136photo bildschirmfoto-2021-05-05-um-115144

Final sights of Turkish soil before heading into the clouds.


photo bildschirmfoto-2021-05-05-um-115212photo bildschirmfoto-2021-05-05-um-115223photo bildschirmfoto-2021-05-05-um-115237

Left turn over the Black Sea.


photo bildschirmfoto-2021-05-05-um-115247

Cabin after departure.


photo bildschirmfoto-2021-05-05-um-115252

Takeoff video:



breakfast service


As we neared our cruising altitude over eastern Bulgaria, the cabin crew sprung into action.


photo bildschirmfoto-2021-05-05-um-115353photo bildschirmfoto-2021-05-05-um-115443

I'm sure you can imagine I joy I felt when handed this breakfast tray (the main was of course covered in foil, I was just too anxious to see the meal and forgot to take a picture 🙈)


photo bildschirmfoto-2021-05-05-um-115535

The meal consisted of an appetizer of Feta and Kaşar Cheeses, with olives, cucumbers, and tomatoes…


photo bildschirmfoto-2021-05-05-um-115613

…a delicious main course consisting of scrambled eggs with Feta, a grilled tomato, and a Kaşar and Ham toast…


photo bildschirmfoto-2021-05-05-um-115545

…and a succulent dessert. I have no idea what it was, so if anyone knows please enlighten me!


photo bildschirmfoto-2021-05-05-um-115625

The meal was served with real cutlery.


photo bildschirmfoto-2021-05-05-um-115605

All I can say is this: the Turkish Airlines that we know and love is back!


photo bildschirmfoto-2021-05-05-um-115637

mid-flight


By the time I finished my meal and my tray was cleared, we had already passed Belgrade and were getting close to Vienna.


photo bildschirmfoto-2021-05-05-um-115720

Clear blue skies. A view that I'll never take for granted ever again 🤩


photo bildschirmfoto-2021-05-05-um-115747

Timișoara, Romania.


photo bildschirmfoto-2021-05-05-um-115759

For the last 50 minutes of the flight, I watched short videos about Turkish Airlines destinations in Turkey. I hope to visit all those places someday!


photo bildschirmfoto-2021-05-05-um-115814

arrival into vienna


Commencing our descent south of Budapest.


photo bildschirmfoto-2021-05-05-um-115846

Hungarian landscape below.


photo bildschirmfoto-2021-05-05-um-115915

Overflying Neusiedlersee.


photo bildschirmfoto-2021-05-05-um-115933photo bildschirmfoto-2021-05-05-um-115943

Approaching the airport.


photo bildschirmfoto-2021-05-05-um-120001photo bildschirmfoto-2021-05-05-um-120011

Final approach.


photo bildschirmfoto-2021-05-05-um-120020photo bildschirmfoto-2021-05-05-um-120031

Over the runway.


photo bildschirmfoto-2021-05-05-um-120040

Touchdown on Runway 34 at 8:48 AM, 22 minutes early, after a flight time of 1h50m.


photo bildschirmfoto-2021-05-05-um-120051

Slowing down.


photo bildschirmfoto-2021-05-05-um-120059

Vacating the runway.


photo bildschirmfoto-2021-05-05-um-120130

Landing video:



Taxiing into the apron…


photo bildschirmfoto-2021-05-05-um-120158

…and pulling into our gate.


photo bildschirmfoto-2021-05-05-um-120211photo bildschirmfoto-2021-05-05-um-120219

One last look at my seat.


photo bildschirmfoto-2021-05-05-um-120228

Deplaning through Economy…


photo bildschirmfoto-2021-05-05-um-120252

…and Business.


photo bildschirmfoto-2021-05-05-um-120311

routing of tk1883


photo bildschirmfoto-2021-04-27-um-0940121

Nothing special to say about our routing, we cruised at 36,000 feet and flew a straightforward routing.


I hope you enjoyed reading about this flight as much I enjoyed the flight itself. I adore Turkish Airlines, and look forward to flying them again soon. As you may have noticed from my not-so-subtle clues, my very first longhaul flight in over a year and a half will be on a Turkish Airlines Boeing 787-9 at the end of July. As for the class of service and the destination, you'll have to be patient, as I will announce that when the report comes out 😎 As for now, I do hope to see you at the next report, which is a special one. It will cover my last ever flight on an Austrian Q400, taken just 5 days before the last OS Q400 flight to Innsbruck, which also means it will possibly be the last review of that airline-aircraft combination on Flight-Report. Luckily the weather was great, so I was treated to beautiful views. Stay tuned!

See more

Verdict

Turkish Airlines

9.6/10
Cabin9.5
Cabin crew9.0
Entertainment/wifi10.0
Meal/catering10.0

Turkish Airlines Miles & Smiles Lounge (International)

8.6/10
Comfort8.5
Meal/catering7.0
Entertainment/wifi9.5
Services9.5

Istanbul - IST

9.2/10
Efficiency9.0
Access8.0
Services10.0
Cleanliness10.0

Vienna - VIE

7.8/10
Efficiency7.0
Access10.0
Services7.0
Cleanliness7.0

Conclusion

Turkish Airlines is back, which is great news for passengers. In addition to the delicious food and the good service onboard, their hub in Istanbul is also stunning.

+ Great new cabin in pristine condition
+ Stellar entertainment options
+ Friendly cabin crew
+ Delicious meal
+ Fantastic Istanbul Airport experience

I honestly don't have anything negative to say about this flight. Turkish Airlines is hands down the best airline in Europe, and I look forward to flying them longhaul again soon!

Related

10 Comments

If you liked this review or if you have any questions, don’t hesitate to post a comment below !
  • Comment 574053 by
    Leadership TEAM GOLD 5264 Comments

    Hi, thank you for this report I was waiting for.
    This is really a stunning cabin, the size of those screens are crazy for NB aircraft.
    It's great to see that Turkish Airlines resumed their award winning catering on their longer European flights, But if I am not wrong, they are still not serving alcohol?
    Thank you and take care.

    • Comment 574059 by
      NewYorker GOLD AUTHOR 175 Comments

      Hi Leadership, nice to see you here at this report! Yes I agree, TK did a superb job with their cabins on the A321neo. You can't find PTVs bigger than those on any other NB aircraft, that's for sure! As for the alcohol, I'm not sure if they had any onboard, but I know that there wasn't any in the lounge, which is a bummer. All the best to you and happy flying!

  • Comment 574060 by
    ISTFlyer GOLD 365 Comments

    Hi NewYorker and thanks for sharing this report with us,

    I'm glad that you enjoyed the Turkish Airlines A321neo. The seats are really comfortable and the hard product is really above other European carriers for an intra-European flight.

    It isn't surprising that boarding was disorganized as usual. Unlike European and US carriers, TK couldn't figured out away to really enforce a proper boarding procedure.

    The breakfast looks identical to the same eggs and cheese&ham toast that is served since TK joined the Star Alliance. Although, the dish tastes really good, I would like to see rotating options from TK rather than serving the same dish on all ex-IST morning departures. By the way, if I'm not wrong, the official description of the yoghurt was something like strawberry yogurt with fruit or something like that.

    Was Wi-Fi available on this flight? All TK A321neo's should be equipped with Wi-Fi and I was a bit surprised that it's not mentioned in this report.

    Once again thanks for sharing and hope to see you in the next report of the series.

    • Comment 574062 by
      NewYorker GOLD AUTHOR 175 Comments

      Hi ISTFlyer, and thanks for your comment!

      Unlike European and US carriers, TK couldn't figured out away to really enforce a proper boarding procedure.

      That's something I didn't remember from my previous experience. In a way, I guess it's better to have a remote stand at Istanbul, because of the dedicaded Business Class busses.
      The breakfast looks identical to the same eggs and cheese&ham toast that is served since TK joined the Star Alliance.

      Yes, you are right about that. I've read many reports here on TK, and it appears as though that is their only breakfast dish. Delicious, indeed, but I agree that it would be nice to have some variety, especially for those who frequently fly with TK.
      the official description of the yoghurt was something like strawberry yogurt with fruit or something like that.

      That sounds about right, thanks for the info!
      Was Wi-Fi available on this flight?

      To be honest I'm not sure. I did see that WiFi dome on the aircraft, but it wasn't written anywhere obvious, and I don't recall the crew mentioning anything about it. I don't really use inflight WiFi, so I don't usually pay attention. But if you say that all A321neo's have WiFi then probably it was available on my flight.
      Thanks again for the comment and stopping by. All the best to you and happy flying!

      • Comment 574063 by
        ISTFlyer GOLD 365 Comments

        Thanks for the reply,

        In a way, I guess it's better to have a remote stand at Istanbul, because of the dedicaded Business Class busses.

        - Sadly, those Business Class buses are for arrivals only on international flights. However, for domestic flights, a dedicated Business Class bus is provided both for departures and arrivals

        All the best to you and happy flying!

        - Same, happy flying!

  • Comment 574111 by
    Matthevv GOLD 154 Comments

    Hi NewYorker,

    Thanks for your report, I've been waiting for it! That looked indeed like an amazing flight without any single flaw. And you finally tried the A321neo ;-) The cabin looked very elegant and comfy but I'm quite surprised with that reduced legroom. The food sounds tasty too, did you get an option to choose from?

    I unfortunately cancelled my TK trip to Dubai 2 days ago but I'm hoping to swap it for another TK destination, maybe somewhere in Turkey...

    Best,
    Mateusz

    • Comment 574154 by
      NewYorker GOLD AUTHOR 175 Comments

      Hi Mateusz, thanks for reading and commenting!

      That looked indeed like an amazing flight without any single flaw.

      You're absolutely right about that. I wish that more European airlines would be following TK's example, instead of adding BoB menus like the LH Group airlines are doing.
      And you finally tried the A321neo ;-)

      That was surely something special! Although I should note that nowhere during the booking process did United or Turkish mention the neo. I just knew that it would be an A321neo because TK seems to almost exclusively fly those to VIE. On my ticket, it simply said Airbus A321.
      did you get an option to choose from?

      Unfortunately not. All passengers were just handed a tray. For a breakfast flight, though, it's ok just to have one option in my opinion. I'd be curious if they offer choices on their lunch/dinner flights.
      I unfortunately cancelled my TK trip to Dubai 2 days ago

      What a shame! Hopefully you'll get to experience them sometime soon.
      Again, thanks for stopping by. All the best!

  • Comment 574128 by
    KévinDC TEAM GOLD 5759 Comments

    Hey NewYorker, awesome report as always!

    Wow what a difference a few minutes of flight time makes in catering. You go from nothing on the outbound flight to practically long-haul quality meal service on a 2h flight.

    That is one sexy cabin. I love me a nice crisp new cabin interior. The J cabin looks really nice with those extra privacy wings. And of course just having real J seats is better than most other carriers within Europe. The Y cabin looks really great as well with those HUGE PTVs and pretty mood lighting.

    A product definitely deserving of those high marks for such a short flight!

    Looking forward to the future 787-9 report. See ya!

    • Comment 574155 by
      NewYorker GOLD AUTHOR 175 Comments

      Hi Kevin, and thanks for stopping by this report!

      Wow what a difference a few minutes of flight time makes in catering. You go from nothing on the outbound flight to practically long-haul quality meal service on a 2h flight.

      Absolutely. Not even a 2-hour flight would get this service, only flights longer than 2h15m get full service onboard. I would think that what was served is identical to breakfast in Y on long-haul flights, which is really extraordinary, especially in these times when most legacies in Europe have switched to BoB service.
      The J cabin looks really nice with those extra privacy wings.

      I agree. I think that the product is based on the same seat as United's new Premium Plus, but the privacy wings really make the seat stand out compared to similar products.
      The Y cabin looks really great as well with those HUGE PTVs and pretty mood lighting.

      Even having such big PTVs on a long-haul flight is rare, so it says a lot about TK for investing the money in their short-haul fleet. Unfortunately, the mood lighting was only colorful during the taxi at IST. I wish that they had kept the lighting on, as it made the cabin feel warmer.
      Looking forward to the future 787-9 report.

      So am I! I've missed long-haul flying soooo much 😩
      All the best, and happy flying to you! NY

      • Comment 574156 by
        KévinDC TEAM GOLD 5759 Comments

        I agree. I think that the product is based on the same seat as United's new Premium Plus, but the privacy wings really make the seat stand out compared to similar products.

        Yep! Good eye...yes, it's the Collins MiQ seat, which is indeed the same seat model as UA Premium Plus, and AA, DL W as well

Login to post a comment.